Wednesday, August 8, 2012

State's First LEMA Hearing Set

Local Interest in Sheridan and Thomas Counties

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources has scheduled an initial hearing to consider a proposal that would establish a new water conservation plan in portions of Sheridan and Thomas counties.

The 2012 Kansas Legislature, through Senate Bill 310, gave Groundwater Management Districts, or GMDs, the authority to initiate a public hearing process to consider specific water conservation plans that would meet local goals. The plans are known as Local Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs).

The Sheridan 6 application, which was developed in GMD 4 high-priority area number 6 in Sheridan and Thomas counties, is the first LEMA plan received by the division. GMD 4 recommended approval of the Sheridan 6 LEMA plan and the DWR chief engineer found the plan acceptable for consideration. This initial formal public hearing is the next step in the process.

The hearing will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 13, 2012, at the Sheridan County Courthouse, 925 9th Street, in Hoxie.

The initial hearing will consider whether the local area is experiencing water management concerns requiring enhanced management allowed under statute. If the initial hearing determines a management area is needed, a second hearing will be held to determine if the plan should be adopted as proposed.

The public is welcome to submit written or oral statements to be included in the hearing record. Oral statements will only be accepted at the initial hearing, but written statements may be submitted at the initial hearing or may be sent to the Sheridan 6 LEMA Hearing Officer, c/o Leslie Garner, 109 SW 9th St, 4th Floor, Topeka, KS 66612. Statements can also be faxed to (785) 368-6668. Written statements must be postmarked on or before Sept. 17, 2012.

For copies of the LEMA proposal and notice of hearing, click here.

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